TORONTO – Here are my key takeaways and "best" and "worst" awards from the 76ers' 102-86 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre.
— For the Sixers, this was worse than tanking. At least when they tanked the past four seasons, we knew they weren't trying to win. They tried Saturday night, but it was hard to tell. The Sixers were far from the impressive team we saw weeks ago. Guys stop sharing the ball like they normally do. The effort they usually play with vanished once it became obvious the victory was out of reach.
— Joel Embiid was far from his normal self in his first game back after missing the previous three with back tightness. The Sixers center made three of his first six shots while scoring his team's first eight points. Afterward, he made just two of six field goals en route to finishing with a total of 14 points. He blocked a team-high three shots, but didn't move as fluidly as before being sidelined. Embiid was also noticeably fatigued while playing 22 minutes, 57 seconds.
— Frustration is setting in with the Sixers, who extended their losing streak to five games. Coach Brett Brown, Dario Saric and Embiid all received technical fouls. The Sixers know if they continue to play at a this level, their dream of reaching the postseason will be nothing more than wishful thinking.
— The Sixers' turnovers and poor three-point shooting continue to kill them. They committed 23 turnovers. Embiid had a game high-five, while Ben Simmons, Robert Covington and Dario Saric added three apiece. Meanwhile, the team missed 20 of 27 three-pointers in what was nothing more than their latest "jack up and miss three-point contest.
— The Sixers had no answers for the Raptors' All-Star backcourt tandem of DeMar DeRozan for the second straight game. He ran a clinic, finishing with 29 points while making 4 of 7 three-pointers two days after posting career highs of 45 points and six three-pointers.
‘Best’ and ‘worst’ awards
— Best performance: This was an easy one. DeRozan did whatever he wanted to the Sixers.
— Worst performance: This was a tough one, but I ended up giving this award to Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. The Sixers reserve guard finished with nine points on 4-for-12 shooting. He struggled from the three-point line, making 1 of 6. Luwawu-Cabarrot also had as many personal fouls (four) as rebounds (four).
— Best defensive performance: I'm giving this to Jakob Poerltl. The Raptors backup center did a solid job on Embiid. He also finished with a team-high three blocks to go with two steals.
— Worst statistic: This goes to Sixers committing 23 turnovers. The Raptors turned them into 28 points.
— Best statistic: The Raptors' foul shooting. They made 23 of 26, 88.5 percent.
— Worst of the worst: This goes to the Sixers' overall performance. This squad looked nothing like a team with the aspiration to make the playoffs or even a squad deserving of national attention the way it played in Toronto.